MANILA, Philippines – Lilibeth Romero is an enigma – both known to all and to only a few. As the long-time partner of the late entertainment icon Eddie Garcia, she’s had to contend with having a considerably more public profile.
“He was, really, my Superman,” said Romero on Sunday, June 23, on the last day of the wake for Garcia at the Heritage Memorial Part in Taguig City. To her, Garcia, 90 years strong when he died, was her “protector.”
It was likely because of this role, Romero told a crowd of family, friends, and fans, that she didn’t realize the sort of impact an Eddie Garcia leaves behind. "I never realized that Eddie is this loved, this respected, and this popular,” she said.
Romero also shared a bittersweet anecdote from the days they spent at the Makati Medical Center, where Garcia stayed while he was comatose for nearly two weeks.
The doctors, said Romero, said Garcia’s blood pressure was steadily declining just as she was ready to say goodbye. But at the last minute, Romero said, she’d change her mind. True enough, Garcia’s blood pressure would steadily go up, the fight still in him.
It was June 20 when Romero finally stepped out of Garcia’s side for an extended time to share a very late first meal with family. At around 4:35 pm, she said, their bodyguard called and told her to return to the ICU. A call from a nurse who sounded like she was in tears followed.
Inside the ICU, Romero finally told Garcia: "You’ve been lifeless, and I don’t think I want you to be looking this way. I want you to be pogi (good looking), wag mo na kami alalahanin (don’t worry about us).”
True enough, Romero recalled, Garcia was declared dead at 4:55 pm. He was 90.
Garcia’s widow made it a point to remind the crowd: never take your loved ones for granted, and always make it a point to say goodbye. "I never said goodbye to him because I thought he was immortal,” she said.
June 23 was the last night of Garcia’s wake. His remains, which were cremated the day he died, will stay with Romero. – Rappler.com